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eMarketer predicts the number of iPad users in the US will rise by over 90% this year to 53.2 million, as loyal users replace older models and new consumers purchase the device. This year, the iPad will continue to be in the hands of more than three-quarters of all tablet users in the country.
That level of growth is down significantly from last year’s 143.9% jump, and will continue to decline; by 2015, the number of iPad users will rise by just under 12%. By then, more than one-third of all US internet users will have such a device.
Compared to iPads, overall tablet penetration is rising more quickly and will reach 29.1% of internet users by the end of this year, but growth will still fall off to 11.9% by 2015.
Broken down by age, the fastest growth among tablet users as a whole will come in the under-12 and 65-and-older age groups, which have relatively low penetration compared with other groups. Those most likely to use a tablet will remain between the ages of 25 and 44, among whom around one-third of the total population will use a tablet in 2012.
eMarketer estimates more than half of tablet users this year to be men (54%), but by the end of the forecast period the gender split is expected to be even. Asians, at 26.2% penetration in 2012, are the most likely racial or ethnic group to use a tablet, followed by Hispanics, at 24%. This compares with 21.4% of whites and 21.5% of blacks.
eMarketer defines tablets as devices with a touchscreen interface, screen sizes ranging from 5 to 14 inches, color displays, Wi-Fi or 3G internet connectivity, and advanced operating systems such as Apple iOS, Google Android, Windows 7 and BlackBerry. Estimates are based on the analysis of survey and traffic data from research firms and regulatory agencies, sales projections, historical trends, company-specific data, and demographic and socioeconomic factors.
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